Winter sports, with the exception of hockey, usually start about the first of December on their fruitless course of attempting to interest a lethargic public opinion. A relatively small number of candidates report and there is a noticeable lack of enthusiasm on the part of the average undergraduate. The attendance at important games-- even games with Yale--is not impressive and very few except those actively engaged are interested in the season's outcome. The lack of prestige connected with membership on a minor sport varsity team is only one evidence of the prevailing lack of interest.
In direct contrast to this is the situation at most other colleges, even those whom Harvard men are wont to believe most like their own University. Yale and, even more clearly Princeton and Dartmouth, regard minor sports from a point of view that is entirely foreign to the orthodox Harvard undergraduate; the latest news from New Haven only serves once more to emphasize the popularity of minor sports in other centers As a result of all this, these other colleges are prominent in those very sports, which, to an extreme devotee of athletic success, have long been a reproach to the University.
It would be interesting to speculate on the basic reason for this "Harvard indifference' to minor sports. Apparently it is not superficial, for no amount of propaganda and cajolery-- newspaper articles and Crimson editorials has been able to overcome it. And so, whatever the reason for the indifference may be and whether or not it can be rectified in the long run, it is time to face the immediate fact and make the best of it.
After all, the greatest, value of the minor sports is to furnish a means of securing that "athletics for all" of which we have of late heard so much. Except in the case of squash, this end is plainly not being attained to as great an extent as possible, and attempts to attain it by forcible feeding have not been successful.
The answer to the problem is perhaps simpler than it would appear. Hitherto every effort has been made to arouse enthusiasm for minor sports carefully organized on the varsity team basis. These efforts have met with failure. Squash, on the other hand, per force largely an informal sport and for the great majority of participants not organized on any basis of a team and regular attendance, has become more and more popular. Apparently the Harvard undergraduate is interested in a minor sport provided it is not over-organized. It might prove wise and profitable, carrying out this idea in other minor sports, to restrict the present fruitless emphasis on the organized teams and squads. Instead, more of the money which the H. A. A. spends on minor sports, and for some of the time at least the facilities which the University has to offer might be devoted to the use of men who wished to engage in these sports in a purely informal way. Basket ball played with his particular friends and largely on his own volition would attract the man who would never think of "going out" for the basketball team.